There have been many inside baseball with a
gift for gab; however, in my book no one ever beat Charles
Dillon Stengel for his way with words. I was early on in my
writing career going around interviewing for one of my
baseball books with a letter from a publisher asking that
“all professional courtesies be extended to Dr. Harvey
Luckily and unplanned, I came across old
Case sitting (or sleeping) in the dugout. I introduced
myself. He was taken by the “Dr.” in the letter.
“I’ve got a pain in my ass, doc,” he
I am not that kind of doctor,” I replied.
“I am a professor.
The “ol’ perfessor,” (he once taught) and
the new one hit it off. He gave me time and memories and
shooed away his regulars press guys for a bit
“Can’t you guys see, I am doing an
interview with the Dr?
From that long ago time, I have always
had a fascination with the man of many words. What
fellows is just a brief batch of his bon mots and also
what others saidabout him.
"Don't cut my throat, I may want to do
that later myself.
"Anyone comes looking for me, tell 'em
I'm being embalmed."
"Good pitching will always stop good
hitting and vice-versa."
came in here and a fella asked me to have a drink. I said I don't
drink. Then another fella said hear you and Joe DiMaggio aren't
speaking and I said I'll take that drink."
couldna done it without my players."
don't like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three."
players with bad watches - they can't tell midnight from noon."
(Phil Rizzuto) you're too small. You ought to go out and shine
at him (Bobby Richardson) - he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he
doesn't chew, he doesn't stay out late, and he still can't hit
comes a time in every man's life, and I've had plenty of them."
secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the
guys who are undecided."
Yankees don't pay me to win every day, just two out of three."
"They're been a lot of fast men but none as big and strong as
(Mickey) Mantle. He's gonna be around a long time, if he can stay
well, that fella of mine."
we'd like to keep you around this season, but we're trying to win
the pennant." -- to a Yankee rookie
of you fellers are getting 'Whiskey Slick.'"
old timer's games, they’re like airplane landings, if you can walk
away from them, they're successful."
the autograph business - once somebody sent up a picture to me and
I write: 'Do good in school.' I look up to see who was gettin' the
picture. This guy is 78 years old."
I learned from McGraw, (whom he played for in the 1920s) I used with
all of them. They are still using a round ball, a round bat and nine
guys on a side."
best thing to do is to have players who can hit right-handed and
left-handed and hit farther one way and farther sometimes the other
way and run like the wind."
told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to
put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going.
I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again."
"There were things that would
irritate Casey, but trying too hard or getting mad at sitting on the
bench weren't among them." - Mickey Mantle
"Watch the old man. Watch how
the old man keeps the guys who aren't playing happy." (Billy Martin
to Mantle on Casey Stengel)
“After a play in the field Casey
would turn (to the players on the bench) and say 'What did he do
wrong?' or 'You're better than that guy.' Either way, he'd keep them
from getting stale." – Billy Martin
IN THE WORKS FOR FALL 2015:
Written by acclaimed sports author and oral historian Harvey
Frommer, with an intro by pro football Hall of Famer Frank
Gifford, When It Was Just a Game tells the fascinating story of
the ground-breaking AFL–NFL World Championship Football game
played on January 15, 1967: Packers vs. Chiefs. Filled with new
insights, containing commentary from the unpublished memoir of
Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram, featuring oral history from
many who were at the game—media, players, coaches, fans—the book
is mainly in the words of those who lived it and saw it go on to
become the Super Bowl, the greatest sports attraction the world
has ever known. Archival photographs and drawings help bring the
event to life.
.# # #
About the Authors: Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband
team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional
scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories
It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in
America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in
Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining
as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United
States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
about these authors.
You can contact the Frommers at:
This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer. All rights